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US Air Force military raptor jet will embrace the cloud with Dell EMC Azure hosting

ith a $1 Billion deal, the U.S. Air Force has granted a deal that further solidifies the direction of cloud providers. Microsoft and Dell EMC specifically benefit, furthering their reputation as solid and proven partners in just about any environment. There have been concerns and hesitations over the past few years around embracing a cloud-focused solution. The argument against is to roll your own and continue to keep your own hardware on-premise. Let’s review some of those concerns.


In a past post about Artificial Intelligence, it was mentioned that during Citrix’s annual customer event, one of the guests was Jim Noga, CIO of Partners Healthcare in the Northeast. Jim said something that struck a significant chord. In effect, his words suggest that Azure and Citrix as providers are much better at cyber security than any individual organization. Now, instead of being a security risk, the right cloud solutions are now ways for us all to secure our environments, their functions, and importantly, their data.

Passing regulatory audits has been regular fare by both Microsoft and Dell EMC on Azure and Dell EMC hardware for many years. This $1B deal makes it clear that both vendors are ready–and have been ready–for the most rigorous security tests.


Scalability, reliability, and elasticity are both primary selling points of moving to the cloud in the first place. Having the ability to spin up and take down resources on demand is a great way to save money. It is also easier to plan for growth and better utilize resources in a cyclical business.


Moving resources to the cloud, specifically to Azure, makes finding some of your environment’s problems easier. For example, in order for your Azure-hosted environment to truly shine, networking plans must be solid, Active Directory forests/domains need to be clean, and your applications need to be well defined and understood. Your data flow requirements are especially important.

But this is really nothing new. Having a bead on your own stuff is critical whether or not you move some or all of it up to Azure, or whether you keep it at home on Dell EMC equipment. Additionally, analyze Azure’s uptime numbers against your own. You will be hard-pressed to find an environment with better availability than what can be found on Azure.


Run the TCO numbers in your own environment, and be sure to include all costs. This includes personnel, backup & recovery, soft costs, support, etc. These all have to be rolled into any cloud offering, plus margin. If your plan is to spin up machines exactly like you have on-site and leave them on and not manage them, then you’re likely to pay more on Azure than on-premise. But if you manage your resources well—and depending on your workload, you may be able to save by moving up to Azure. But like all things, your mileage may vary.

In the end, cost is one thing. While considering expenses, also consider the other business and technical benefits from hosting.


Another consideration is that you don’t own the hypervisor or control the versions of the stack. But, the real question is: Do you need to? You’re used to it, but is it necessary? In some cases of rapid development or technical competition, it is understood. However, in most SMB, Commercial, Enterprise, Education, and Government organizations, needing that level of access is a means to an end. What is really needed is a way to get users, students, or staff access to their applications and data in the most efficient and secure way possible.

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